this would be laughable if current members of Congress (and apparently Republican governors) didn't take this so seriously. the fact that elected officials seem so engrossed by fairy tales is quite startling, IMO.
here's the good news - i'm sensing a comeback for Harold Camping!
If I were a Tea Partier in Congress, I would organize my fellow TP-ers to vote to let Obama fire on Syria.
The resulting war will destroy Democratic hopes for victory in 2014 and for years to come.
Oh, MAN!!! Can you say, "Grasping at straws," boys and girls?!?
What's interesting is that liberal Progressives and the Tea Party are both against military strikes in Syria.
exactly Mel. i'm against it for philosophical reasons. tea partiers don't do nuance though.
I love that - "Teanderthals"
Interesting nuance, Pat.
I live in the US Southeast, and so almost everyone that I know is a Christian fundamentalist. For most of them the symptoms are, if not benign at least generally non-destructive to others. Some of them are quite decent people who simply can't escape the pernicious trap laid for them in childhood, while some might be candidates for leadership in the Ku Klux Klan. What's worrying is that many of them who are politically 'aware' are fixated on the insane 'End Times' delusion.
My Dear Ex, a kind and gentle person, voted for G.W. Bush twice. The first time was perhaps forgivable -- Americans in general are not known for being very bright. She took the 2003 invasion of Iraq very hard, often crying and blaming herself. I held back from reminding her that I had told her that her 2000 vote would help guarantee this very outcome. She even became something of an anti-war and anti-Bush activist in her quiet way. But then in 2004 she voted the same way because her Southern Baptist minister convinced her that it was God's will that she support Bush in carrying out End Times prophesy. The minister could probably no more help believing that than could she.
There's an alarmingly high percentage of people, especially in the US and most especially here in the Bible Belt, who are unable to muster resources of reason or conscience to act against unconscious forces of early childhood indoctrination. It's not these individuals who we should blame, but the institution of indoctrination, whether into political Christianity or Islam or any manipulative ideology.
For as long as I can remember, there has been an Evangelical contingent who believed that war in the Middle East presaged the second coming of Jesus, end times prophesy like you state. They push for an agenda of war and violence in the Middle East supposedly thinking that will bring the glorious second coming, closer.
It' hard not to think, some of our religious politicians have that in mind as well.
You are much more forgiving, than I, regarding religious people. I know there are many good people. I have seen too much harm from willful ignorance and bigotry. Even when people are mislead by their religious and political leaders, they are culpable. It's a partnership, a dance between the leaders and the followers.
That doesn't mean I demonize every follower, or even every leader in every circumstance. But they do have responsibility for their actions.
I am more forgiving of religious nuts than their positions justify, and am so part of the problem. I think that the mainstream acceptance of such ridiculous beliefs provides foundation for extremist actions, and concession to such is a statement of defeat. But I'm a tired old atheist who is dog paddling in a vast sea of religious fundamentalism, and to poke my old head above the waves is to have it lopped off. I've done that many times in my long past (and have 'miraculously' re-grown a head:) ). And I occasionally do it now (usually after consuming several beers). I try not to do it any more because it accomplishes little beyond causing anguish and resentment among those with whom I must live. As I said above, most of these folks are good people who just can't escape the religious paradigm in which they were brought up. It might be a noble cause to continue to irritate and slightly turn their views, but at this stage of life I've mostly given that up. I'm not proud to say that.
I can still respect their lives and intentions -- again, most of which I'd consider 'good' even if misguided, in my opinion. Had I lived at the time of official slavery in the US, the non-confrontational stance I hold today would have been inferior to what the Quakers were doing at great personal risk. I hold no illusions that a similar stance in the face of fundamentalist Christian End Times enthusiasts is any more justifiable -- it's just what I who have perhaps become and old coward do to get by.
Ted, I agree; it's the conditioning of young children's minds that does harm. After I quit Catholicism I started telling all who would listen that the indoctrination done in Catholic schools is child abuse and will someday be illegal.
There's more to keep in mind: the normal ("bell-shaped") curve tells us the distribution of mental ability in the population.
Some gifted people seem ignorant of that; but for their arrogance (whatever its cause) they would see education as a civic duty.
My grandparents, and generations uncountable before them, felt it their sacred duty to indoctrinate young children so that they wouldn't stray from their understanding of God's path. Had there been force of law among our hillbilly tribes it might have been illegal not to do so. It was socially unacceptable to raise a child without proper God values, which is why I thank Dog that my parents got me out of this hell hole when I was an infant.
We settled in the pagan outpost of Manitou Springs, Colorado when I was a few months old (early 1950s), not because my parents were pagans (Mom was a devout Baptist) but because it was a place where they wouldn't be judged on how they raised their child. And so I got to grow up without social pressure to accept any god belief.
Mom & Dad would have been strongly rebuked for raising a heathen child back in Carolina, and indeed we had a cross burned on our lawn after we moved back there.
I can't fault those who live here for indoctrinating their children, even though it cripples their brains and perpetuates ignorance. To do otherwise might give them a chance to experience reality, but almost certainly sentences them to profound social ostracism. The extreme religious fundamentalism that exists here, and indeed calls all the shots, is not something that any individual is going to change very much. To raise a contrarian child here is to doom her to marginal status if not outright physical attack.
And so even the least superstitious hear appeal to popular gods in order to not seem unacceptably non-deferential to local mores. If you were running for dog catcher in Pickens County, SC and let slip that you might not believe that Jesus Christ is your personal savior and that your actions might not always be predicated on His Word, you'd have no chance in hell of being elected, and a pretty good chance of being physically attacked.
This is all carried out by the 'good people' in their churches while singing hymns of love, That 'love' apparently is conditional.